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Started by Tinymcsmithy on Oct 20, 2021 6:08:17 AM
Software that was great and did all it needed to just fine, until they messed it up

What it says on the tin.

(If anyone is feeling positive, we could do vice versa also.)

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 06:10:37 (#1 of 89)

Microsoft Word 5.1 for Mac. Perfect balance of features, speed and stablity. Nothing that has happened to Word since has added any value to it.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 06:14:23 (#2 of 89)

Photoshop 5. As above, stable and all the features needed for professional graphics and photo editing.

There have been one or two decent added features in the 20+ years since then, but not much more. And now it crashes randomly.

Antimatter - 20 Oct 2021 06:19:53 (#3 of 89)

Flickr. Was great until people messed with it.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 06:20:43 (#4 of 89)

I'm trying to remember it.

Tylenol - 20 Oct 2021 06:37:01 (#5 of 89)

Office 97 before they introduced the dammed ribbon.

TheSwearingBear - 20 Oct 2021 06:40:39 (#6 of 89)

Final Cut Pro.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 07:08:39 (#7 of 89)

Ah yes, I remember that causing a storm.

TheSwearingBear - 20 Oct 2021 07:40:09 (#8 of 89)

It was incredible. Apple basically handed Adobe an entire industry. Very odd.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 07:45:24 (#9 of 89)

Adobe already bought out the graphics industry and killed off Freehand.

upgoerfive - 20 Oct 2021 10:29:23 (#10 of 89)

The endlessly useful Norton Utilities somehow ended up being the excerable Norton Antivirus.

TheExcession - 20 Oct 2021 10:38:39 (#11 of 89)

AVG was a nice and relatively unobtrusive free AV until it became a bloated piece of nagware.

JohnIlly - 20 Oct 2021 10:02:43 (#12 of 89)

There is definitely some law which compels people to keep adding new functionality to software until the original functionality is destroyed. It is probably a consequence of the third law of thermodynamics.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 11:23:24 (#13 of 89)

Good point. Which reminds me.

Acrobat Pro. A once useful tool for preserving the integrity of a document created in any software.

Now a confused, bloated, nagware filled piece of shite.

TommyDGNR8 - 20 Oct 2021 11:42:57 (#14 of 89)

I still mourn the loss of Lifescape/Google's Picasa, with its easy editing interface and seamless link to online storage.

hailesaladdie - 20 Oct 2021 11:44:35 (#15 of 89)

Firefox bloated like a ripe corpse.

AlanII - 20 Oct 2021 10:46:50 (#16 of 89)

As did Netscape.

AlanII - 20 Oct 2021 10:47:54 (#17 of 89)

Acrobat Pro.

God, yes!

hailesaladdie - 20 Oct 2021 11:49:49 (#18 of 89)

MS Teams has gone from being a decent UC platform to being a laggy, unnavigable skin on virtually every MS application.

Policywatcher - 20 Oct 2021 12:41:30 (#19 of 89)

Corel Photo Paint...

Before Corel bought Paint Shop Pro and then first buggered around the CPP User interface, then dropped it and then brought it back as Corel Photo-Paint...

phantlers - 20 Oct 2021 12:51:49 (#20 of 89)

Paint Shop Pro was a great introductory graphics application.

LomaxFairchild - 20 Oct 2021 14:16:01 (#21 of 89)

For me, Word 2.0 on Windows was as good as it got. Super fast and it could sum columns of data (useful for invoices), a feature which has since been removed.

Freehand was leagues nicer to use than Illustrator, which Adobe used to kill it off (thank God for Affinity Designer)

QuickTime - used to be a useful little video tool. Now plays videos and, err, that's it.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 17:31:55 (#22 of 89)

QuickTime Pro, yes it only did about half a dozen things, but they were all you needed to do with 90% of small video clips.

Tinymcsmithy - 20 Oct 2021 17:33:15 (#23 of 89)

Corel’s interface for all its tools has always been horrible.

Policywatcher - 20 Oct 2021 16:42:23 (#24 of 89)

> LomaxFairchild - about 2 hours ago ( #21 of 24)

> a feature which has since been removed.

Nope. I use it all the time - it's still there, just rather harder to find - the same problem that so many power users have with the ribbon.

  • Build a table.
  • Put a column of figures in, apart from the bottom cell
  • Go to the bottom cell
  • Ribbon: Layout / Data / fx formula.



TheExcession - 20 Oct 2021 17:44:14 (#25 of 89)

The Quicktime Player was fucking dreadful software. For some reason it was massively more resource intensive than any of the others and couldn't play anything larger than a postage stamp on a high end PC of the time without stuttering.

Policywatcher - 20 Oct 2021 16:47:12 (#26 of 89)

Every release of Visual Studio and SQL Management Studio seems to take longer to load than its predecessor.

And in the case of Visual Studio, crash more.

AND WHAT FUCKING IDIOT made it that the WinForms designer can't be locked at desiging forms at 96dpi without having to lock the entire application that way?

Gotout - 20 Oct 2021 17:54:40 (#27 of 89)

The endlessly useful Norton Utilities somehow ended up being the excerable Norton Antivirus.

I seem to recall that Norton antivirus and Norton utilities were two quite separate programs, both were excellent in the days of DOS and Windows 3.1. Then Peter Norton sold out and they transformed into bloatware.

Tinymcsmithy - 21 Oct 2021 01:02:02 (#28 of 89)

The Quicktime Player was fucking dreadful software. For some reason it was massively more resource intensive than any of the others and couldn't play anything larger than a postage stamp on a high end PC of the time without stuttering.

Ah yes, on a PC maybe. It was fine on a Mac. Apple’s revenge at the time for MS products probably. ;)

Tinymcsmithy - 21 Oct 2021 01:04:41 (#29 of 89)

There was much discussion at the time as to whether Norton Utilities was a marvel tool, or actually more dangerous than not using it at all.

It did save some lost work a few times, but I definitely felt it was a last ditch critical tool rather than thee everyday maintenance tool that some people used it for.

brooklyn - 21 Oct 2021 02:29:10 (#30 of 89)

I'm old. in the early 1980s dBase III was a perfect administrative tool. it was a database application simple enough even for a no-techer like me. you could readily design a data compilation. I helped use it to manage the work of about 40 lawyers. the number of fields was limitless -- or at least I never approached a limit. the search function let you instantly create a report with any subset of fields you wanted. and the print was a 14 font! it was perfect.

and then it went away.

Ebadlun - 21 Oct 2021 02:35:59 (#31 of 89)

I can't really help in this thread, the history of Android dev has gone from being utter wank on stilts 7 years ago to being as fine and coherent a set of paradigms and tools as anyone could wish for.

Tinymcsmithy - 21 Oct 2021 02:36:04 (#32 of 89)

Actually iTunes was once a really simple, clean and capable digital music player and catalogue system.

Then they started trying to get it to do loads of other shit.

bossab2 - 21 Oct 2021 05:06:07 (#33 of 89)

Filemaker pro

DishyFishy - 21 Oct 2021 05:52:30 (#34 of 89)

Visual Studio

I used to use it daily, and my well-being has improved beyond measure now I no longer have to.

carterbrandon - 21 Oct 2021 08:03:03 (#35 of 89)

Paintshop Pro 5 again. I've been mucking about with it for years, and maintain that doing anything more complicated than it can manage well would require training, which not many people actually have.

carterbrandon - 21 Oct 2021 08:04:41 (#36 of 89)

Also the Web. That IMG tag was the beginning of the end. Allowing pictures was a total Pandora's Box.

cozzer - 21 Oct 2021 08:20:23 (#37 of 89)

To be honest, punched cards were fine, and I don’t know why anyone moved away from them.

tasselhoff - 21 Oct 2021 08:38:13 (#38 of 89)

in the early 1980s dBase III was a perfect administrative tool.

dBase II, Shirley? IIRC dBase III came out mid-eighties (I used both before moving on to Clipper etc).

TheExcession - 21 Oct 2021 08:58:19 (#39 of 89)

#32 My main reason for not getting an iPhone was down to itunes. After installing it scanned my entire hard drive for any audio files at all (including those that were sound files for games) and put them all into a giant unsorted list, ignoring any file structure that was there in the first place.

Tinymcsmithy - 21 Oct 2021 09:00:08 (#40 of 89)

Oh, OSX knows better about file management than to have file structures.

Lento_ - 21 Oct 2021 09:51:02 (#41 of 89)

The whole Apple ethos seems to be "we know best how you should manage your stuff and use your devices". If you happen to follow how Apple thinks you should do stuff then it all works pretty well for the most part. If you don't then it's a massive pain in the arse.

LomaxFairchild - 21 Oct 2021 09:52:58 (#42 of 89)

#26 - I hoped someone would say that - thanks!

Ebadlun - 21 Oct 2021 09:57:01 (#43 of 89)

Like Finder not showing your home directory by default.

Lento_ - 21 Oct 2021 10:00:56 (#44 of 89)

Finder is by far the most irritating file browser I have ever used. I could rant on for ages about its many faults.

tasselhoff - 21 Oct 2021 10:02:07 (#45 of 89)

Any torrent client starts out great and ends up a hideous adware monster.

quattrobhoy - 21 Oct 2021 10:46:06 (#46 of 89)

#37 Paper tape was fine, too!

brooklyn - 21 Oct 2021 19:53:26 (#47 of 89)

it was dBase III - my time estimate must be off.

Policywatcher - 21 Oct 2021 19:17:35 (#48 of 89)

On the PDP-11's that had a fanfold paper tape reader, paper tape was amazing.

The tape would be folded, in opposite directions, at about 6" length, to form a tight zigzag stack.

Secure with a couple of rubber bands, and it's far safer than a reel.

And the reader was clever.

Stand the stack upright on one side (without rubber bands of course), feed the lead into the reading head, trigger the read and stand back.

The clever part is that as it unfolded the tape and read it, it re-folded and re-stacked it in the output hopper, so you lifted it out in exactly the same state it went in.

None of all the tedious rewinding and spooling and messing about. And in a storage drawer, you could mange the tapes far better than spooled tape.

The video shows how it worked - but not how WELL - their example is reading from the tape and printing to a slow matrix printer, waiting for each printed character.

For loading a tape to memory, you would not BELIEVE how fast those suckers would shove the tape from side to side.

InternationalVicar - 24 Oct 2021 07:54:50 (#49 of 89)

You could have more fun with the reels of paper tape, though.

Catspyjamas17 - 24 Oct 2021 08:33:34 (#50 of 89)

Oh god yes Adobe Acrobat. Did a free trial of the pro version, I could barely get it to work and my laptop ground to a halt. Was the quickest free trial ever.

6to24characters - 24 Oct 2021 08:51:47 (#51 of 89)

Scratching marks on clay tablets was all you need

TauCeti - 24 Oct 2021 09:00:18 (#52 of 89)

Am not a technie but for a pain in the arse example; try stopping cookies from the various sites I use, Fb, Google etc and it does become such a pain in the neck that am now not surprised that users let cookies in left right and centre; I have blocked cookies - apart from essential ones (which one wonders about) and ever since everytime I open the Ff/Linux browser I have to go though a rigmarole of pages saying this and that and the other. Now why the fuck do they want to know everything? a[part from tailored adverts which I have no interest on?

Moschops - 24 Oct 2021 10:11:26 (#53 of 89)

Google Music was great, (free) YouTube music is quite deliberately shite, in an effort to get you to shell out for the paid version

ReverendBlueJeans - 24 Oct 2021 10:13:25 (#54 of 89)

Microsoft 'updates'.

We're going to:

Close down your laptop for an hour just when you need it!

Ensure that it takes longer to boot up...

...and everything runs more slowly!

We've removed some functionality you found useful...

...and added some utter mince you'll never use.

IF YOU HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES - tough. And I'm the richest man in the world: MWAHAHAHA!

bossab2 - 24 Oct 2021 11:31:44 (#55 of 89)

Close down your laptop for an hour just when you need it!


tasselhoff - 24 Oct 2021 11:32:59 (#56 of 89)

I thought Win 10 allowed you to control when it installed stuff.

spartak - 24 Oct 2021 11:35:23 (#57 of 89)

WHY in Teams can’t I delete old call records?

ReverendBlueJeans - 24 Oct 2021 12:00:50 (#58 of 89)

I do try to delay updates but sometimes it just seems to go ahead and do it.

Resistance, as the yanks in CPST say, is fyootle.

levelgaze - 24 Oct 2021 12:03:47 (#59 of 89)

This was a major problem in Universities at the beginning of this academic year - colleagues returning to campus after 12 months working online, switching on their office PCs to prepare for first classes, and Updates rising like the Zombie Army of the Dead to wreak havoc.

thePiMan - 25 Oct 2021 15:23:33 (#60 of 89)

The problem with Windows updates on laptops happening just as people are trying to do something is that most people don't have the laptop on unless they're wanting to do something.

TheExcession - 25 Oct 2021 15:31:13 (#61 of 89)

If you go into Settings->Windows Updates->Advanced Options there's a option 'Restart this device as soon as possible when a restart is required to apply an update'. Set this to 'off'.

You'll have to do it eventually, but it'll be next time you restart. MS took away some control from users regarding when to apply updates, because many didn't apply them at all, leading to millions of unpatched machines worldwide with security vulnerabilities (or just so out of date that other things wouldn't work).

Look the bright side: it reduces the chances of a repeat of that time you had to clean a virus off your aunt's machine when it had Windows XP Service Pack 1 and IE6.

spartak - 25 Oct 2021 15:35:42 (#62 of 89)

Is there a way to get rid of the the bloody ribbon and go back to toolbars and drop down options?

TheExcession - 25 Oct 2021 15:38:33 (#63 of 89)


supadjg - 25 Oct 2021 14:51:14 (#64 of 89)

You can go old, old, old school with this:

Have not tried it myself though

tasselhoff - 25 Oct 2021 16:01:57 (#65 of 89)


TauCeti - 25 Oct 2021 15:14:47 (#66 of 89)

I'm using that; slightly annoying that it saves automatically with and .odf extension, unrecognized by some sites so have to save 'em as .doc Same for GIMP image editor which is worse, as I have to export files as JPG to be recognized. ah well.

supadjg - 25 Oct 2021 15:15:11 (#67 of 89)

Here's another I haven't tried, but looks more useful than the first

tasselhoff - 25 Oct 2021 16:15:43 (#68 of 89)

I always save as docx, for the corporate bods who get a bit sniffy about these things.

TauCeti - 25 Oct 2021 15:28:43 (#69 of 89)

I've noticed.

tasselhoff - 25 Oct 2021 16:30:22 (#70 of 89)

Sparanoia sets in

Gotout - 25 Oct 2021 16:42:45 (#71 of 89)

I thought Win 10 allowed you to control when it installed stuff.

Isn't that only in the Pro version?

tasselhoff - 25 Oct 2021 16:47:46 (#72 of 89)

Oops, possibly. You Home users will get what you're given.

Dementor - 25 Oct 2021 17:08:59 (#73 of 89)

You need Enterprise in get back anything like the old level of control over a Windows OS.

Long Term Servicing Channel is even better, but has other downsides:

JohnIlly - 25 Oct 2021 16:10:41 (#74 of 89)

You can certainly "Change active hours" which are the times when it will not restart.

mikeshadow - 25 Oct 2021 17:29:02 (#75 of 89)

You can pause updates for seven days.

FredDee - 25 Oct 2021 18:48:58 (#76 of 89)

to stop Windows installing its own updates seemingly at random :

Get a copy of Windows 10 Pro for a few quid on ebay.

Now I just get messages that updates will occur

when the machine is shut down.

Lento_ - 26 Oct 2021 09:47:54 (#77 of 89)

I have a Mac for work, my main laptop for home is Linux, and I have a cheapo spare Windows laptop for the few things I can't do easily in Linux (my wife's iTunes stuff mainly). The difference between how they handle updates is really stark.

Mac: Takes ages, but I get to choose when it happens and it never seems to break anything. To be fair, this is a company managed laptop, so the IT team have probably absorbed a lot of the pain which might come from updates.

Linux: When I start up it lets me know that updates are available. I can pick and choose which ones I want to install, if I want to, or ignore them entirely. Minor updates can run in the background and don't need a restart. Major updates tend to come fairly rarely, and can be left until I'm ready for them, or not done at all.


misosoup100 - 26 Oct 2021 13:43:27 (#78 of 89)

Recently our Microsoft email system is sending me daily reminders about emails it thinks I need to pay attention to. Used to be called "Cortana" now renamed Viva.

Today it says I replied to an email with "Do I really need to print this email?"

Needs a bit of work I think.

quartus - 26 Oct 2021 13:55:06 (#79 of 89)

On my Windows Home edition, I went to Settings → Windows Update → Advanced Options and then switched OFF the button that says "Restart this device as soon as possible when a restart is required to install and update."

I also switched ON the "Show a notification when your PC requires a restart to finish updatiing".

That allows me to finish what I was working on, shut down as usual, and the PC updates whenever I next switch on.

TauCeti - 26 Oct 2021 14:25:50 (#80 of 89)

When I had a Win machine (now linux) I did that too, the click off box for auto updates.

Tinymcsmithy - 05 Nov 2021 09:49:30 (#81 of 89)

Upgraded Photoshop and they’ve hidden half the file formats in the ‘Save As’ dialogue box because… fuck knows. So, I found a way to revert to the ‘legacy’ Save As (because it was broken… how exactly?). Now it reminds me that using the Save As dialogue box risks overwriting another file with that has the same name. Yup, so I’ll use a new name, or intentionally overwrite it, like for the past 30 years.

Fucking Adobe idiots.

Now all I’ve got to deal with is the dozen or so added nagware shite they’ve scatter-gunned around the interface imploring me to upload and ‘share’ my files to their fucking cloud bollocks.


I remember when creative software was there to help you … create.

TauCeti - 05 Nov 2021 18:25:26 (#82 of 89)

Over the last few months, after applying for a position as xmas casual at the PO, filled in app, send it was accepted; since then another FOUR TIMES this fucking thing comes through again and again; I have redone the lot four times and got a new one today to do the same again and again. Now I've had enough;

This happens because applications are processed by computers, it's all automatic, Asda Tesco all the major supermarkets and more use this system, which is obviously faulty. So the machine is faulty, the software badly designed and one isn't dealing with humans but with machines; no wonder the whole shebang is seriously fucked up.

Now it is Googlemail, another effing computer badly designed software: they sent a message that the log in is going to change in a few days, I can activate the system now, so I did; they send a code for me to put in my machine, and the fucking code is too long!

If - because of this - my google email goes fukc, I don't give a shit. Can't have an intelligent talk with AI either.

(apologies for the f word etc but am feeling badly pissed off)

Tinymcsmithy - 05 Nov 2021 19:01:09 (#83 of 89)

If there’s a thread for swearing at software, this is it.

Tinymcsmithy - 05 Nov 2021 19:04:01 (#84 of 89)

Actually, the iPhone’s predictive typing was pretty perfect about 10 years ago.

It’s been incrementally shitter with each update, to the point that I now have to type each letter carefully and individually because its ‘predictive’ and ‘helpiful’ formatting fucks up everything it tries.

Policywatcher - 05 Nov 2021 19:24:07 (#85 of 89)

I always said that Apple would catch up with Android one day...

TauCeti - 05 Nov 2021 19:25:26 (#86 of 89)

eh eh eh - nice.

Stil, AI is being implemented; am now thinking of Asimov's 'I Robot' the book and film...

Tinymcsmithy - 05 Nov 2021 19:28:05 (#87 of 89)


Well they’ve now also got the same ‘swiping’ keyboard thing, but it’s shit for the most part. I’ve never used the android version, but people seem to like it.

The typing approach has changed several times also, getting worse each time.

It used to be fine. I have an old iPhone 4 and when i broke my phone, i went back to it briefly. It was brilliant.

upgoerfive - 06 Nov 2021 14:48:48 (#88 of 89)

am now thinking of Asimov's 'I Robot' the book and film...

I didnt remember quite as much Kung Fu in the book, mind you ...

TauCeti - 06 Nov 2021 17:03:30 (#89 of 89)

A friend who works at the PO tells me several people have had that repeat email requiring completion of a form, after said form has been completed delivered and accepted.

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